Novel Drugs That Can Induce EBV Lytic Infection as a Potential Therapy for EBV Associated Tumor or to Assist in Diagnostic Imaging
Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is a human gamma herpes virus that can establish either a latent or lytic infection in host cells. In its latent form, EBV is associated with a number of malignancies such as Burkett?s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinomas and B-cell lymphoproliferative tumors. EBV lytic induction has been proposed as potential therapy for EBV associated tumors as it causes lysis of infected cancer cells. Until now, there has been a lack of specific, non-toxic drugs that can induce the lytic phase in cancer cells. Scientists at JHU have screened for and identified a number of drugs, some non-toxic, which stimulate EBV lytic infection and can be used as a therapy for treating EBV associated tumors. The active compounds were discovered by using two screens. The first was a cell based screen (using Burkett?s lymphoma cells) with a recombinant Green Fluorescent Protein-EBV construct that assayed the impact of the compounds on replication of the complete viral genome. Second, a lytic promoter reporter construct was used to determine the lytic induction capabilities of the chemical compounds. The invention described herein can be licensed in combination with the technologies of JHU C10044. JHU C10044 details the use of an active compound to induce the lytic phase and increase the level of a biomarker that binds a radiolabelled substrate for imaging and therapy of EBV induced tumors. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) EBV, which is a member of the human herpesvirus family, occurs throughout the world and is the most common virus known to humankind. The CDC estimates that between 90 and 95% of the US adult population aged 35 to 40 has been infected. EBV has been linked to number of malignancies such as Burkett?s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinomas and B-cell lymphoproliferative tumors. The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV -1) and Kaposi's sarcoma - associated virus (KSHV) are from the same family as EBV and are also associated with tumors. Currently, there are few therapies that can specifically target virus infected cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue from toxicity. The technology described above has lead to the discovery of drugs that increase the activity of EBV within cancer cells in such a way that the cancer may be detected and treated.
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